Lilly Neubauer is putting her life-long love of art to good use as the founder of Bold Strokes, an art auction to benefit Heart House. Her meticulous attention to detail makes the auction more than just a silent charity gala, but an evening where two neighborhoods can come together and get to know one another. She hopes that the auction will become something that benefits everyone: the artists, the patrons and the beneficiaries. With a mantra of mindfulness and compassion, Neubauer hopes her daughter, Heidi, will grow up with the same sensitivity to immigrants that she and her husband gained from living overseas as children.
When did you move to Preston Hollow?
I grew up in Preston Hollow and, kind of by coincidence, moved back over here. I went to the school on the corner growing up, and so I kind of knew about this little secret neighborhood that had good-sized houses for young couples. The neighborhood has grown, and we’ve become re-involved in the neighborhood as a family. It’s fun to drive past certain places or go to the same businesses that were there when I was growing up here.
What was it like growing up in Preston Hollow?
My mom raised us to be creative, and she always was taking us to free day at the Dallas Museum of Art or different cultural exhibits. I’ve never been very talented, but I’ve always been very attracted to art and enjoyed looking at it and interacting with it.
Tell me about Bold Strokes.
So, last July was the first year of Bold Strokes, and we raised $7,000. We decided to evolve the event to have the art auction, but to add on an artisan marketplace this year. There are so many really interesting small businesses in Dallas that make different items: gifts, clothing, jewelry and stationery. It’s local, handmade; there are great instances where it’s even refugee-made.
Where does the money go?
The proceeds from the event benefit Heart House Dallas, which is a nonprofit in Vickery Meadows. They work with the refugee kids on transition and intervention. They have afterschool programs where they work on homework. They will intervene on behalf of the students with DISD schools — be an advocate for the kid when his parents are overwhelmed and working and trying to get a handle on the logistics. What resonated with me is they have a mindfulness program where they help the kids with fixed versus growth mindset. They address trauma. They teach the kids self-soothing, self-care, breathing and mindfulness techniques that address the issue of the transition.
What makes you so passionate about helping these kids?
I think there’s this population of children coming up in Dallas that have the potential to bring commerce, new ideas and innovation to the city. We just need to make sure they have the emotional support and the early support that they need. Even as a mom with a child living in Preston Hollow, I find these kids to be a great asset because my daughter can meet them and learn about different cultures firsthand and learn about different ideas and people. So I find them to be one of our greatest assets that we have this global community living in the middle of Dallas.
How has Bold Strokes impacted your family?
This has synced so well with our family values at the moment. We had a baby and had jobs and were off to the races. We had to pump our own brakes to put mindfulness into place for us to feel like we were living our days well. What they do with the kids resonates with us. The ability for everyone in our family to be involved has been really nice. They recently did a science fair to teach their kids public speaking and working together on projects and time management. Heidi and I went to judge that. Sometimes we’ll just go play on the playground. I get a lot out of the time I spend there. I also love that my daughter is seeing different ways of life in Dallas. I’d like her to just have a widened perspective of what life is like for different types of people.
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